Tag Archives: being a writer

What Am I Doing Here

DSC02277Last night the thunder clapped

the rain sneezed

the cold flail its hands

the wild animals in the forest coughed

and I closed the window and pulled the covers to my neck.

DSC02276 DSC02279This morning the fog lounged and sauntered over the mountain range elegantly as a bride’s laced veil.

I could hear the patter of my heart.  I could hear the earth’s chatter.

I knew the smell of morning and the call of life.

My eyes searched for something more tangible, a green sweetness, contained as the dates I suck each morning.

Moving further, I stopped to observe old tools carefully collected and arranged — an installation — the aesthetic functionality of discarded implements.


DSC02278I am committed to this time.

I am consumed by this project.

I am covetous for the right words.

I pause and stare seeking to reveal

what I need to know…what I already know.

Heading to breakfast, a worm drying in the fleeting sun solicits my gaze

I remember as a child digging for worms in my mother’s garden.

As a woman planting my own garden, I would hold the worms gently between middle finger and thumb and place then strategically back into the earth.DSC02280

Preparing to fish, I would observe the worm’s body as the hook entered its translucent skin. Do fish really like worms?  What do they taste like? Perhaps another time I might fry some.

I walk the path, moving up and down, seeking the right angle to aim my camera. What did I do before these other lenses?  Do I trust my eyes and my memory to see and record?

Like a starved child, I follow the fog, feeling  a hand slip softly into my blouse — the memory of desire and attraction.

Murder and loss could happen here, unrecorded.   How many and for how long?  Who is counting?  Who is missing?

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But this is not a land where mayhem happens.   This is a place of creation and reflection

Here in the mountain, gripped with cypresses and olive trees, where howling and baying rebound like a ball tide to a pole being banged by a bat in the hands of a bored boy, there is only possibility on possibilities, a scent of trespass, a longing for surprised discovery.

The mountain heaves. The fog prances and the heart locates its wings.

Around the bend I am reminded of the surprised birthday party, more than 30 years ago, that Pamela hosted for me.

The red reminds me of the deep desire I had for a man I knew was a philanderer  but his skin was chocolate. I was not yet twenty-one, already married and had left my husband.

Red is not the color of desire.  Red is lust better left untouched — not consumed. Red is the way into tomorrow.


The Value of a Residency

DSC02040 I have arrived in Assisi, this picturesque town, framed against the blue-green verdant mountains, where I will reside for the next three weeks.

The house where I am housed is up a gravel road, far away from any other houses and quite a trek to arrive here on foot. Luckily, I was picked up by car.

I am told there are wolves, foxes, wild pigs, and in the rooms at night the bees are as big as the width and length of my middle and index fingers combine.

I am told neither the bees nor the wild animals are harmful, but when I was going for a walk this morning was given a stick and told to always have one handy just in case I encounter any such animals. I only spotted a deer, but woke to the sounds of unfamiliar animals.

I was also told there were no snakes, but on the way back from my walk, I saw a dead snake in the road, a foot long. No poisonous snakes here either.DSC02152

The land is welcoming. The silencing is encompassing.

It is hot and hot and hot, and I love the heat as a Caribbean woman, but it is hot.

A church, somewhere in the two rings its bell at noon and six pm. Otherwise time means nothing to me. The day is irrelevant. I am present to what is here and here there is much.

The mountain range, which is like a wall, demands my attention, my homage, and it comforts me as the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, my homeland. When I sit here on this balcony it is before me.DSC02076

DSC02053This is the desk in the room upon which I am writing and upon which I will write for the next three weeks.

Already it says sit down. Attend to your task. There is nothing here to distract you. I embrace your words and ideas and will provide the clarity you need to string them into a pattern that piques the senses and assures the heart that there are endless tomorrows awaiting you…

When I glance out the window I see beauty. I inhale the peace and privilege that this place provides.

DSC02055This is the moth that perched itself on the wall last night behind my bed and refused to leave, bidding me to sleep well and be comforted by its orange wings that nurture dreams.

I am happy and grateful to be here. I will write here and accomplish my goals.

I have brought Haiti here, its stories and its people to help make sense and show its resilience.DSC02098

I am quenched here, and did not realize until I arrived that I was thirst.

I have already engaged in dialogue here with the other artists and found affinity.

I write knowing that writing is my job, this is what feeds my soul, and this is what I was born to do.

A residency provides an artist with the space and place she needs to create and be free and brilliant in that creation…affirming the legacy will continue.